The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant economic disruption, including supply shortages, cost increases, and liquidity constraints resulting from a prolonged shutdown. As EU Member States and businesses respond to these challenges, their actions continue to raise potential issues under EU competition law.

In response, the Commission has undertaken several initial steps, as reported in our March 2020 EU Competition Law Newsletter. In April 2020, the following additional steps are noteworthy:

  • The Commission has affirmed it will not actively pursue necessary and temporary measures taken by companies to avoid a shortage of supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has published guidance on how it will analyze such business cooperation and has offered to provide informal guidance for specific situations if businesses so request. An overview of this guidance, and key takeaways for companies, is available here.
  • State aid. The Commission issued a Communication amending the Temporary Framework that both clarified and relaxed its earlier guidelines. An update on this development is available here. By the end of April, the Commission had cleared more than 109 measures under these rules, for every Member State except The Commission is also consulting Member States on a draft proposal to extend these measures to recapitalizations.

These initiatives mirror actions by national competition agencies and other enforcers globally. These developments are monitored in our COVID- 19 Resource Center. The table below provides an overview of measures published since our March 2020 EU Competition Law Newsletter.

International Competition Network joint statement on competition during and after the COVID-19 pandemic (April 8, 2020) Link
Commission Communication on the Temporary Framework for assessing antitrust issues related to business cooperation in response to situations of urgency stemming from the current COVID-19 outbreak (April 8, 2020) Press Release,
DG Competition page on antitrust rules and coronavirus Link
State aid  
Commission Communication on amendments to the Temporary Framework to enable Member States to accelerate production of COVID-19 relevant products and protect jobs in the current COVID-19 outbreak (April 3, 2020) Press Release,
Commission Statement on consulting Member States on proposal to further expand State aid Temporary Framework to recapitalisation measures (April 9, 2020) Statement
DG Competition page on State aid rules and coronavirus Link
List of Member State measures approved under Article 107(2)(b) TFEU and the Temporary Framework Link
European Courts  
CJEU press release on continuation of judicial activities (April 3, 2020) Link
CJEU press release on the continuity of European public administration, and resumption of oral hearings after May 25, 2020 (April 27, 2020) Link